Fabulous and fitting
THE Last Night of the Proms - organised by the Manx Youth Band and Manx Concert Brass and featuring soprano Margaret Keys - was never going to be a sombre occasion.
Especially with Ian Clague behind the baton and a bucket of party trumpets, coiled whizzers and streamers.
The Gaiety was bedecked with the Manx and Union Flags, red, white and blue bunting and the stage had a huge Union flag with the triskelion in the centre, as befitting our geographical location. Following the Fanfare and Queen, we got to meet the above mentioned Mr Clague who was to try but fail to hold back the tide of audience participation all evening.
The delightful Margaret Keys, a beautiful Irish soprano with a truly lovely voice shared her favourite Irish songs and musical favourites plus an aria or two but really won the hearts of the audience when she lifted the hemline of her gorgeous blue dress to reveal one red sock and one white sock.
She also threw us some chocolates, so that completed the deal. She can come back anytime.
We let the band get through Rossini’s Thieving Magpie (lovely) and followed that with their version of the traditional Russian favourite Kalinka.
They resisted the temptation to do the sitting leg dance. Probably because it would have meant knocking over their music stands. This was followed by Goff Richards’ very pretty and evocative Country Scene which lulled us into a false state of security The Sun Has Got his Hat On leapt on stage and got a few duck calls from the eager audience, poised to join in.
They heated up with Baggy Trousers by Madness – the band not the choice of music, and wore pork-pie hats and sunglasses. The impish Mr Clague vanished off stage and I was hoping he would come flying in over the heads of the band a la Madness but no, he skanked on instead. Badly. It was incredibly funny. He was shown suitable appreciation from the audience with a bellow of ducks calls. That will teach them to hand out the plastic instruments too soon!
The first act climaxed with an amazing arrangement of Music by John Miles, which was turned into a mini pomp rock opera in itself and led us into the interval.
Hawaiian and similarly rubbish shirts were the order of the day for the second half. The music scampered by deliciously; the Radetsky March, Dances with Wolves and the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, crowd pleasers all, lots of singing along and anticipation until we got to the really good stuff.
And we got it in spades. Rule Britannia! Jerusalem! Sea Shanties (imagine the Sailors Hornpipe with plastic party trumpets…. oh glee!). It was great rabble rousing stuff that, had it been sung by any other nation, we would have tutted at the blatant jingoism, but because it was us, it was not only fabulous - it was fitting.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East